There’s always something exciting going on in Miami, regardless of the day of the week or the time of year. But this South Florida destination is also home to lots of annual events that are worth taking a drive or hopping on a flight for. With unbeatable weather from January throughout the year to December, planning a trip to Miami has never been easier. To celebrate the spirit and culture of the city and its people, here are eight of the best Miami events to check out this year.
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Miami International Boat Show
If you love boats or even just dreaming about having one someday, then you should definitely check out the Miami International Boat Show. Here you’ll find over 3,000 boats and thousands of exhibitors set up in multiple locations. You can see some amazing yachts, power boats, sailboats, racing boats, catamarans, and other sea vessels and also participate in a hands-on learning experience for beginner boaters. The event takes place in February, and tickets range from $25 to $100, depending on when you want to attend and how many days you’d like to come.
Miami Broward Carnival
You don’t need to head all the way to Brazil or the Caribbean islands to experience the fun and excitement of Carnival because Miami has an awesome Carnival event of its own. The Miami Broward Carnival is a festival that offers everything from costumes to concerts, art displays, cooking competitions, and entertainment for kids. This is also a wonderful opportunity to try delicious Caribbean foods and traditional cocktails. The Carnival event takes place in October at the Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds. Advance tickets are $30 if you buy online, and the event runs from 11am to 11pm.
Miami Beach Polo World Cup
Polo is a historic and fascinating sport to watch and learn about, and attending the Miami Beach Polo World Cup is a truly unique experience. The event organizers post a schedule of games online before the event, which takes place each April. This is the world’s largest polo tournament and features multiple matches, a women’s cup, and a charity match to support a nonprofit. It’s becoming a premier annual event in South Florida, with complimentary admission and concessions available for purchase. There are also VIP tickets for invited guests to enjoy some shade in the grandstand and savor the food and drinks provided. Matches are typically scheduled in the afternoons each day of the festival.
Miami Art Deco Weekend
Certain cities are famous for their unique and defining architecture, including Miami. In mid-January, the Art Deco Weekend Festival takes place to bring about awareness and appreciation for this style and the era between 1925 and 1945. Over half a million people come to this festival each year to experience the guided tours, art and craft shows, and opening night parade. Overall, this is a free community cultural festival that has over 85 events that mostly take place at Lummus Park and around 11th Street and Ocean Drive. To kick off the event, Light Up the Drive features lots of fun events, including live performances, kids’ activities, and a dog promenade.
Coconut Grove Arts Festival
Located in Southeast Miami, the Coconut Grove Arts Festival is one of the most anticipated events of the year. This is a well-established arts festival that brings in thousands of people annually to see paintings, digital art, jewelry, and live jazz performances. The festival also offers art workshops for kids and lots of local and international foods. It typically takes place during President’s Day weekend along the lovely waterfront setting. Stop by on one or more of the three days of this festival to also indulge in your foodie side and try lots of exciting cuisines. The festival runs from 10am to 5pm or 6pm, depending on the day. Onsite general admission tickets cost $15 each per person over age 12, but you can get discounts and packages if you buy tickets online in advance.
Miami Beach Gay Parade
Miami Beach is a popular LGBTQ destination, and there’s a fun parade and festival that takes place here in April each year. The event brings in over 100,000 people and is always an exciting time. It was launched in 2009 to bring together members of the LGBTQ community and their allies and supporters. It typically runs for about a week in early April, starting with a street parade on Ocean Drive. Some of the other most anticipated events include Pride Lights the Night with Miami’s buildings illuminated in rainbow colors, PAMM Pride Night with a fancy museum soiree, and the Beach Party Festival Village with its great lineup of DJs and drag entertainers.
Art Basel Miami
In early December, thousands of people head to Miami and the Wynwood Art District to experience Art Basel. This is a contemporary art event that features the works of artists from all over the world. During this time of the year, you can join in the fun with exhibitions, parties, and fairs all throughout the city. Come here to learn about contemporary art and emerging artists from Miami, as well as throughout North America, Latin America, Asia, Europe, and Africa. High-quality paintings, sculptures, installations, films, photographs, and exhibitions are on display at the main exhibition hall. There are also Art Basel shows that takes place in Basel and Hong Kong.
South Beach Wine and Food Fest
Good food and wine are an integral part of Miami’s culture, and this is best celebrated at the South Beach Wine and Food Fest. The festival takes place over five days and features famous chefs, lots of amazing beverages, and foodies from all over South Florida. In late February each year, this Food Network and Cooking Channel-sponsored event includes intimate dinners, tastings and demos, brunches, walk-around tastings, late-night parties, trade seminars, and family fun. Tickets to individual events that are part of the festival often range from $100 to $300. You can also buy packages online in advance of the event to bundle together multiple events and save.